Neymar suffers new ankle injury blow in PSG win

Neymar faces a race to be fit in time for Paris Saint-Germain’s Champions League round of 16 second leg against Bayern Munich after being pulled off with an ankle injury in his side’s Ligue 1 win over Lille on Sunday .

The Brazilian broke down in tears as he escaped on a stretcher after twisting his right ankle early in the second half of PSG’s dramatic 4-3 win at the Parc des Princes.

Coach Christophe Galtier said after the game that Neymar picked up a sprain, with the club later confirming tests didn’t show a fracture.

“Neymar underwent an MRI scan today after spraining his ankle against Lille,” read a club statement.

“It turned out that there was no fracture. The tape damage will be reassessed in the next 48 hours.”

Neymar had previously scored his side’s second goal in a remarkable game, with PSG leading 2-0 before falling 3-2 in the second half.

Kylian Mbappe, who had scored the opener, equalized three minutes from time before Lionel Messi struck a free-kick in the 95th minute as the Ligue 1 leaders ended a run of three straight defeats.

PSG must now hope that 31-year-old Neymar does not face long spells on the touchline with a crucial Ligue 1 game in Marseille next weekend and the second leg against Bayern on March 8th.

The French champions travel to Germany to come back from a 1-0 deficit in the first leg when Mbappe was limited to a second-half guest appearance after returning from a hamstring injury.

PSG will look to avoid elimination from the Champions League in the round of 16 for the fifth time in seven seasons.

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But Neymar’s fitness has been a regular concern for PSG ahead of big European games ever since the world’s most expensive player arrived from Barcelona in 2017.

– ‘No bad luck’ –

In his first season at PSG, a fractured metatarsal kept him out of the second leg of the Champions League round of 16 against Real Madrid, which they lost.

He did not play for his club again that season and faced a race against time to be fit to play for Brazil at this year’s World Cup in Russia.

The following year, another metatarsal injury saw him miss the round of 16 against Manchester United as the Qatari-born club went out again in the first knockout round.

“It’s not bad luck,” said Galtier on Sunday when asked about the reasons for the injury.

“There are always reasons. The full schedule doesn’t help. It complicates things but we just have to keep going and that’s more fun with a win.”

Neymar injured the same ankle while playing for Brazil at the recent World Cup in Qatar.

He sprained himself in his country’s 2-0 win against Serbia in their opening game and did not feature in the group stage.

The ex-Barcelona man returned in the knockout rounds but Brazil lost to Croatia on penalties in the quarter-finals, despite Neymar putting them ahead in extra time in that game.

He returned with his club right after the World Cup but has since been rested in several games to put that injury behind him.

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“I hope that ‘Ney’ will come back quickly because he is an important player for us,” Mbappe told Amazon Prime.



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